Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #390


For a place that has Matt Murdock, Jennifer Walters, Franklin Nelson, Jeryn Hogarth, Bernadette Rosenthal, Kristen McDuffie, Blake Tower, Rosalind Sharpe, Isaiah Ross, Holden Holliway, Emerson Bale, Dennis Bukowski, Grace Powell, Matt Rocks, Connie Ferrari, Justin Baldwin, Jason Sloan – Okay, >>gasp pant<< let me catch my breath here – Ebenezer Wallaby, Maria Alvarez, Maxine Lavender, William Hao, Nelson Mandella, and even some guy named Robert Ingersol (no relation); I can’t understand why the Marvel Universe doesn’t have any lawyers in it.

Now, I know you may think all of those people – and several others, I didn’t mention for fear of really padding my word count – are lawyers. Marvel may even think they’re lawyers. Trust me they’re not. Based on what I saw in Captain America: Sam Wilson #9, no one in the Marvel Universe would know what to do in a bar, let alone in a bar exam.

It’s like this. Maria Hill, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., had Cosmic Cube fragments which her superiors ordered her to destroy. She didn’t. Instead she used their reality-altering power to create a super villain gulag that looked like a small American town called Pleasant Hill. She wiped the memories of several super villains so that they believed they were normal people who lived in Pleasant Hill. It was a Norman The Rock-well painting.

Several teams of Avengers found out about Pleasant Hill and went there to shut it down. At the same time, all the inmates dirtied their newly washed brains and revolted. So all hell broke loose.

Meanwhile, the Cosmic Cube fragments coalesced into a sentient being which took on the form of a little girl who left Pleasant Hill and was loose in the world. And did I happen to mention criminal mastermind and terrorist Baron Zemo had escaped and was also loose in the world?

To quote Joe Higgins, the Dodge Sheriff, Maria Hill was, “in a heap o’ trouble.”

Except that she wasn’t.

When Hill was confronted by some sort of informal Avengers tribunal composed of Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Rogue, Tony Stark, and The Vision; Hill freely admitted Pleasant Hill violated the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment. Then she pled her case. She argued she shouldn’t be arrested and tried as that would make Pleasant Hill and the fact that there was a sentient Comic Cube wandering around as a little girl public knowledge. So they had to keep the whole Pleasant Hill debacle quiet.

Which makes a certain amount of sense except for two things; 1) it makes no damn sense at all and 2) we’re talking about S.H.I.E.L.D., a shadowy super spy organization. As a shadowy super spy organization in good standing, S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn’t arrest or try Maria Hill. It would black site her. Unless it decided to terminate her employment. With extreme prejudice.

Even worse, however, was Maria Hill’s second line of defense, what happens if the lawyers for the Pleasant Hill inmates find out about the cruel and unusual punishment that went on there? “I’ll tell you – Every single one of them – the mass murderers, the cosmic-level threats, the ones with poor personal hygiene – they will all go free.” To which Rogue responded, “Damn it, she’s right,” and the rest of the Avengers tribunal concurred.

Proving, as I said before, that there are no lawyers in the Marvel Universe.

If there were, then one of them – probably more than one, but at least one of them – would have pointed out the fatal flaw in Maria Hill’s argument. That’s it’s complete and utter taurus turds.

Want to know what happens when a court rules a prison is subjecting its prisoners to cruel and unusual punishment? It makes the prison stop doing whatever it was doing that was cruelly and unusually punishing. But it doesn’t make the prison release all the cruelly and unusually punished.

Prisoners are in prisons because they’ve been convicted of crimes. They had their due process. Now the government has the right to imprison them. That doesn’t change just because a prison may have been inflicting improper punishment. The government still has the right to imprison them, just in a different way.

But don’t take my word for it. Look at some history. (Yes, summer school history class. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short.)

Waaay back in 1972, the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment. When it did, it didn’t order the prisons to release all the murderers who were on death row. It just had the prisons transfer them out of death row and into general population. Prisoners who were subjected to said cruel and unusual punishment aren’t automatically freed.

Maria Hill may have been an interesting character once. She’s not anymore. She’s become one-dimensional, strident, extremist, and, quite frankly, boring. And I’d really like to see her disappear forever.

The last thing I want to see is for her to continue on exactly as before. No, wait, that’s the second-to-last thing I want to see. The last thing I want to see is a spin-off series starring Maria Hill; Tales From the Crypto-Fascist.